As part of its effort to develop new guidelines for passenger vessels, the Board has named an advisory committee to examine issues concerning access to emergency alarm systems that are accessible to passengers with hearing impairments. As indicated in a published notice, the committee includes representatives from disability organizations, the vessel and cruise ship industry and trade groups, and the National Fire Protection Association, among others. The committee will hold its first meeting September 19 and 20 from 9:00 to 5:00 at the Access Board’s offices. The meeting will be open to the public and time on the agenda will be reserved for comment.
Last year the Board released a draft of these guidelines, which cover access to ferries, cruise ships, and other classes of vessels. The draft guidelines addressed alarm systems to ensure that they are accessible to passengers with disabilities, including those with hearing impairments. Based on public comments received on the draft, the Board determined that existing vessel alarm systems and emergency notification procedures aboard vessels need to be further explored through an advisory committee so that detailed specifications can be included in the guidelines.
For additional information on the committee and its upcoming meeting, contact Paul Beatty at firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 272-0012 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).